Biological Systems Engineering



Date of this Version



Amaranto, A., Munoz‐Arriola, F., Solomatine, D. P., & Corzo, G. (2019).


A spatially enhanced data‐driven multimodel to improve semiseasonal groundwater forecasts in the High Plains aquifer, USA. Water Resources Research, 55. 2018WR024301


The aim of this paper is to improve semiseasonal forecast of groundwater availability in response to climate variables, surface water availability, groundwater level variations, and human water management using a two‐step data‐driven modeling approach. First, we implement an ensemble of artificial neural networks (ANNs) for the 300 wells across the High Plains aquifer (USA). The modeling framework includes a method to choose the most relevant input variables and time lags; an assessment of the effect of exogenous variables on the predictive capabilities of models; and the estimation of the forecast skill based on the Nash‐Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) index, the normalized root mean square error, and the coefficient of determination (R2). Then, for the ANNs with low‐ accuracy, a MultiModel Combination (MuMoC) based on a hybrid of ANN and an instance‐based learning method is applied. MuMoC uses forecasts from neighboring wells to improve the accuracy of ANNs. An exhaustive‐search optimization algorithm is employed to select the best neighboring wells based on the cross correlation and predictive accuracy criteria. The results show high average ANN forecasting skills across the aquifer (average NSE > 0.9). Spatially distributed metrics of performance showed also higher error in areas of strong interaction between hydrometeorological forcings, irrigation intensity, and the aquifer. In those areas, the integration of the spatial information into MuMoC leads to an improvement of the model accuracy (NSE increased by 0.12), with peaks higher than 0.3 when the optimization objectives for selecting the neighbors were maximized.tT